Tubular Bells for Two
- By Richard Branson -
- Aug 10, 2012
Came across what sounds like a great night of music coming up at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe – Tubular Bells for Two.
After Mike Oldfield’s fantastic performance at the Olympics opening ceremony, his classic record is being performed in full on the eve of its 40th anniversary. Call me biased, but it’s still one of the most influential records in modern music.
The title of this new show caught my eye though – Tubular Bells for Two. The record is a fantastically complicated sequence of recordings, so it will be interesting to hear it performed with just four hands and feet, rather than multi-tracked the way Mike managed it. He played over 20 instruments and made more than 2,300 recordings until he was happy!
Back in 1973 when Mike told me all the instruments he needed to record the album, I was surprised how expensive tubular bells were to buy. “£20 for tubular bells?” I asked. “They’d better be worth it.”
It’s fair to say it was money well spent. As John Peel said when he played the album in its entirety: “It’s called Tubular Bells. I’ve never heard anything like it in my life.”
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group